Written by guest blogger, Debby Harris
My social calendar is full. I know for some people that is normal; but people who know me well realize this is quite unusual. I have worked in the public for years and always felt my time after work was my own. I can be introverted and treasure quiet time with no interruptions. I am not the one to blame for the change that is getting me out of my house and into the public. God is the one filling up my calendar, and it is an amazing and heart-filling change.
One morning several months ago, I asked in prayer, “What do you want of me, how can I serve you more?” Almost instantly came the answer, “Be open”. Be open to what? God is good at details, he just doesn’t always share them with me. In the next two weeks my social calendar started filling up, and his plan became very clear.
It started with a young woman at church. We had always been friendly, sharing stories of raising daughters and the challenges of being a single parent. This day when we greeted each other and got into our normal exchange, she said, “Would you want to get together for coffee someday?” My slow response was, “yes”. She wanted a Christian woman friend that she could spend time with. We have been meeting about every two weeks since that day.
The very next week another young woman contacted me. I hadn’t heard from her for about a year; she had quit attending church due to some disappointment. “I need you”, she said. We met for lunch and she shared her life and the struggles she had been having. She told me she needed a Christian woman and other Christian friends in her life. She had a lot of friends, but not the kind that listen and hear with a Christian heart. We have continued to meet on a regular basis.
And it continues. I have opened my heart and mind according to what God has asked of me. It seems that nearly every week a woman will seek me out. My life is enriched and full because God speaks life and light into our lives. Women have so much to share. We have experienced many of the same things: marriage, divorce, children, disappointments, and more. I listen; I listen attentively so I can clearly hear their pain. I believe sometimes it is simply being able to say things out loud in a safe place. Shared pain is less pain. God’s words of encouragement come from my heart and every meeting begins and ends with a hug.
The question I am asking myself is why? Why are women searching for a connection in a world full of people, full of other women, co-workers, and their church? Are we searching for that common thread of Christianity? Is it validation of our worries and issues? Or is it as simple as doing what he has asked us, loving our neighbor as ourselves? The world is challenging and we can lift each other up with our common issues. And why me? I don’t know His answer. God asked me to step out of my comfort zone and He has rewarded me at every step. My life is full of women who are living in the kingdom of God, and I am richer for their friendship.
Our lives are busy. Sometimes we are busy being busy. Our time can be our biggest asset and we hate to give it up. How many hours do we spend at work, with family, and making our home life work? Is it possible that we can find time, an hour a week, to spend in Christian fellowship? If I am going to be busy, I want to be busy for God. He has provided me the time to be in relationship with others who want to be closer to God.
I have quit worrying about how to get away from work and how to make time in my schedule. God is running my Outlook calendar. When someone says do you have time, I quickly say, “yes” these days. His plan has become clear. He will fill me up with his spirit and I will continue to “Be Open”.
Debby is a single mom of two grown daughters. She has worked in healthcare for over 35 years finding joy in patient care. Recently, this love has led her to do medical missions work in Malawi Africa.